Right to Rent: Prison for Landlords

The Home Office has announced recently a number of changes under the Immigration Act 2016 which come into effect from 1st December 2016. One of these is to make a failure to meet Right to Rent requirements a criminal offence. Right to Rent was introduced on 1st February 2016 and requires landlords or their letting agents to make adequate checks on the right to reside status checks before letting a property.Provisions set out by the Home Office have created four new criminal offences that extend the potential punishments to include a fine of up to £3000, a maximum of 5 years in prison or both.Some landlords could even receive a fine, a custodial sentence and further sanctions for persistent breaches or failure to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from the property under the Proceeds of Crime Act.Complying with the Right to Rent regulations are now even more important, as landlords face the threat of a criminal record and jail term should they fail to do so. Illegal immigrants do not have the right to rent a home in the UK however some unscrupulous landlords continue to exploit this market for financial gain. The Home Office has made it clear it is working to crackdown on this practice.All landlords need to ensure that they are adhering to every aspect of the Immigration Act, including the Right To Rent checks. If they have any doubts they should contact a reputable letting/managing agent who can provide guidance and peace of mind.For further advice and information please contact us on either 01284-702626 or enquiries@hazellsonline.co.uk.